Cashew Cheese – Yes, it’s a real thing!

Sometimes, exactly what we are looking for falls into our lap, just when we need it!

Last week, I was making myself some bagels and decided that I really wanted something else to top those bagels with than the usual cream cheese (or jelly, depending on the bagel flavor).

While my bagels were cooking (you can find the recipe here), I was cruising around the internet and stumbled across a recipe that caught my eye.  Cashew Cheese.  Now, keep in mind, a friend of mine referenced it as part of her lunch (thanks Amanda).  A quick google search later and I was staring a several recipes for this new found treat!

The recipe I found was compliments of Gina at The Full Helping  I probably could have spend hours there checking out the other recipes, but I’ll save that for another day!

I had everything on hand, so I put some cashews soaking and dug out everything else that I would need.

Since the cashews had to soak for about 2 hours before I could put everything together, I had those warm bagels staring at me.  I couldn’t wait.  I toasted one, topped it with cream cheese and smoked salmon to enjoy.

  • 1 generous cup raw cashews, soaked for at least 2 hours (up to 10, or overnight, is fine), drained, and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • ¼ teaspoon garlic powder (for stronger garlicky flavor, use ¾ teaspoon garlic powder or 1 crushed garlic clove instead)
  • ½ teaspoon salt (more as needed)
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • ¼ cup water (more as needed)
  1. Place the cashews, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, salt, and pepper in a food processor. Pulse repeatedly to break the cashews down, until they form a coarse, wet meal. Scrape the sides of the food processor down with a spatula.
  2. Turn the motor of the processor on. With the motor running, drizzle in the water and let the cashews process for about 10 seconds. Stop and scrape the machine down again. Continue processing for a full 1-2 minutes, or until the cashew cheese is smooth and thick, adding a tablespoon of extra water if needed. The consistency should be a little bit like hummus (see photos of finished cashew cheese as a cue).
  3. Taste the cashew cheese and add lemon, salt, and pepper to taste. If you like, pulse in fresh herbs or other flavorings. Serve. Cashew cheese will keep for up to 6 days in an airtight container in the fridge.

Using the food processor made this a quick and easy recipe to make!  I knew that chilling it would make it even better, but since I was going to be putting in on a toasted bagel, I dug right in! (yes I ate a second bagel in one afternoon!)  Honestly, this was better than cream cheese for me!  Plus it’s full of healthy fats and by changing up the spices or flavors added to the cheese, you can have a variety of dipping or spreading options!

I have a feeling this is going to be my go to spread in the future!  I am looking forward to playing with the flavor combinations too!

Hmmm… craisins and cinnamon to make a dessert spread?

If you try any of the recipes out here, be sure to come back and let me know what you think!

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